L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Food testing on R-Day meaningless
Four-day wait for lab report
Anshu SetH/TNS

Ludhiana, January 24
Collecting samples of eatables and beverages to be served to “VVIPs”, children and various officials at the Republic Day function has turned into a meaningless exercise that has been conducted for years in the name of "protocol".

The stated purpose - to ensure the safety of food and drinks - is defeated as the reports of the samples, which are taken and sent for laboratory tests the same day, come in after four to five days.

Over two dozen health officials including top physicians, paramedics, food inspectors, the district epidemiologist and senior medical officers have been split into six teams to carry out duties including sampling food, beverages and water and ambulance service at the function.

Calling the exercise "uncalled for", some doctors said “this was sheer exploitation of professionals under the garb of protocol”. District health officer Dr Jagpal Singh stated: “One team will look after the ‘VVIP’ food sampling in Ludhiana and the other one will go to Issru. The other teams will take care of water and sweets sampling and tableaus to be presented at the Republic Day function in the city”.

On the other hand, the health & family welfare department, which is already short of staff, has to rope in individuals and NGOs for these activities. "Sparing staff members for the Republic Day function isn’t easy when the entire department is engaged in the five-day polio campaign, which will conclude on January 27," said a senior official.

Sweets of questionable quality

The food, civil supplies & consumer affairs department is authorized to buy the sweets to be distributed to children at the Republic Day function. For the past few years the sweets were being purchased from a noted retail store in the city. Interestingly, the lab tests conducted on samples of sweets collected from this outlet during checks conducted last year before Diwali had failed.


For 5 yrs, city was virtually sitting on a powder keg
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Sunday’s explosion near Sekhewal village that left four soldiers injured has again brought to the fore the fact that city residents were virtually living on the edge. The four were among the army’s 202 bomb disposal squad conducting the exercise to defuse explosives in the Mattewara forest reserve.

With 17,000 latent explosives weighing about 200 quintals lying unattended at the Focal Point dry port for over five years, the industrial city was sitting on a powder keg. How these scrap materials entered Indian shores and were brought to Ludhiana without being detected remains a mystery.

The scrap consists of over 17,000 pieces of munitions - spent rockets, mortars, grenades, bombs, artillery shells, bullets and other weaponry in disuse. They trace their roots to the 1990 Gulf War and had been imported from the Middle East by local firms for the purpose of being melted and used in the manufacture of a variety of appliances.

Steel and other metal rerolling factories, including Bhushan Alloys and Upper India Steel and five other plants in Punjab, had imported the scrap at throwaway prices between 1999 and 2004. The firms had not specified the nature of the consignment, only mentioning “scrap”, while seeking permission for the imports. It was only during inspections by the customs department that the hazardous nature of the items was discovered.

Some of these latent bombs were even exploded in iron melting factories located in Gogindgarh Mandi and Industrial Area, resulting in the death of several workers employed there.

Since then, the scrap materials had been lying in large containers at a city depot at Focal Point, with customs withholding the consignment and asking state government officials to make arrangements to have them destroyed in a safe manner.

After the matter reached the Punjab & Haryana High Court and seven rerolling units submitted Rs 1.36 crore in the court. It was only after receiving the court’s nod that the army went ahead with destroying the scrap materials.

Heaving a sigh of relief, a senior police official said: "We were sitting on a powder keg. These latent ammunitions were lying in the open for several years. Imagine what would have happened if a blast such as the one that occurred on Sunday near Sekhewal village had taken place at a Ludhiana depot”.

The dry port where these munitions were kept houses a huge population of migrant labourers. "What if any of the weapons had exploded? Probably, it could have charged the fuse of other latent weapons, which in turn would have further led to series of explosions, the result of which would have been catastrophic," observed Col (retd) AS Sohi.



Schools give National Girl Child Day a miss
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Known for their zeal to celebrate various days, city schools forgot the National Girl Child Day today, thereby losing the opportunity to sensitise students about the social issue.

The lapse on part of the schools has parents fuming, who feel their wards are being fed with western culture in the name of cultural activities while the schools continue to ignore socially relevant issues.

Barring one school, no other celebrated the day on their premises. “Our schools are famous for celebrating legions of days, including a number of useless ones which do not even have any relevance to our culture,” Sharad K Sharma, a parent, stated.

“For schools, days like flower day, Valentine's Day and even friendship day has much importance. These are celebrated with much fervour but issues like that of the girl child are blatantly ignored even though there is urgent need to sensitise the younger generation about it,” he said.

Another parent RH Srivastava said: “What are the schools teaching our kids by celebrating red, yellow, or rainbow day and by holding lavish rain dance parties when they are not bothered about what issues the country is facing?”

He said the schools should incorporate more socially-relevant issues into the curriculum and hold events based on them rather than wasting time and money on several other events.

When contacted, some school heads expressed ignorance about the day while the others gave excuses for having missed out on the celebrations.

The genesis

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had, in 2009, announced January 24 as the National Girl Child Day. The government had hoped that it would generate awareness on sex selection abortions and abandonment of female babies. The date marks the day in 1966 when Indira Gandhi took over as the first woman Prime Minister of India.

Celebrations at GMT

GMT Public School was the only school to have celebrated the day. A special assembly was held and speeches were delivered to make students aware of the importance of the day. Girl students came dressed as prominent women personalities like Indira Gandhi, Kiran Bedi, Rani Lakshmi Bai and Sarojini Naidu.



Pay fine or land in jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Pay fine or go to jail seems to be the new mantra of the city police, which is finding it difficult to sensitise residents about traffic sense. From Tuesday, the traffic police will start pasting challan stickers on vehicles parked in no-parking zones. If the offender fails to pay the fine, he might land in jail for three months.

The challan will require to be paid at the office of the Additional DCP (Traffic) located at the Police Lines by the date mentioned on the challan.

If the challan is not paid, the documents would be presented in court, where the owner of the vehicle risks being served upto three-months imprisonment or face a heavy fine.

Once the sticker is pasted on the vehicle, the challan documents will be sent to the violator by post.



Youths break car windshield, flee with bag
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Motorcycle-borne youths fled with a bag containing documents and signed cheques by breaking the windshield of a car that was parked in front of the Civil Hospital here today.

The incident took place in the morning when Gurminder, the car’s driver, left the car near the hospital and went to fetch some documents from the home of the car’s owner Kulbhushan Singla. When he returned he was shocked to find the vehicle’s rear windshield broken and immediately called up Singla.

“No cash was kept in the vehicle. The thieves might have thought the bag lying inside might have contained money. However, to their disappointment there was nothing in the bag except some documents and signed cheques”, said Singla.

Eyewitness said the youths broke the windshield and fled with the bag. Meantime, the police has filed a case and begun investigations.



Army woos youth for recruitment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The Indian Army is one of the best in the world as it focuses more on the quality of men in uniform rather than on machines. The Army needs good engineering and management professionals to meet the global standards in terms of research and development for indigenous technology apart from duties in infantry and artillery divisions.

This was stated by Lt Krishna Lal of the the Territorial Army while interacting with BTech, MBA, MCA, BBA and BCA students of Ludhiana Group of Colleges (LGC), Chaukimann, Ferozepur Road, here today.

As part of a cycling expedition that aims at covering 3,000 km to raise awareness on employment potential in the Army, apart from the other issues of national importance, the jawans of the Territorial Army stopped at the college for an interaction with students. They have already covered more than 1,000 km so far. “There is an immense scope of employment for engineering students in the Army but only if they fit the bill,” said Lieutenant Lal.

Apart from Short Service Commission and Engineering Corps division, he said students could also serve the nation by becoming a part of supportive organisations like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

He explained the roles of mechanical, electrical and computer engineers in the Army. He also stressed the fact that only those who were passionate to serve the nation should join the Army.

He also briefed students about the eligibility criteria for joining the Army. The students could imbibe leadership qualities, good communication skills, knowledge of diverse subjects by joining the Army, he underlined.

Prof. Harpreet Singh, head of the management section, welcomed the Army officials. After the interaction, the Army jawans left for the next leg of their expedition. Vikram Grover, member of the management committee, flagged off the expedition. 



After disease, it’s distress
Lepers served vacation notice
Lovleen Bains
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 24
More than 50 leprosy afflicted patients, including women and children, are in trouble as they have been served a notice to vacate the Bhagwan Mahavir Kusht Ashram, where they have been residing for the past more than 10 years.

They have been directed by the Subdivisional Officer of Doraha, through a notice served on June 9, 2010, to vacate the place in 15 days, failing which further action would be taken by the department.

As per another notice served to them on September 20, 2010, these illegal occupants have to pay an yearly rent of Rs 1,11,592 as per PWD norms, with the rent increasing by 15 per cent every three years.

“The foundation stone of the ashram was laid by the then Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana on January 3, 1997. We have been living here since then and have never had any problem, but now, we are being served different notices every now and then. We are really afraid of the situation,” said some patients.

“Many of us are maimed for life. Some of us can leave this place only to starve and die. Women and children have no other shelter. The contagiousness of the disease and the social exclusion it carries makes it difficult for the afflicted to get shelter at any other place,” pleaded the patients.

“I do not understand why we are being served with such notices. The foundation stone was laid by the Deputy Commissioner. We have been getting all sorts of aid from residents of Doraha and have not felt any sort of exclusion here,” said Mahesh, a leprosy patient.

“The notice of payment of rent is too much for us to bear. Since nobody is ready to employ us, we have to be either at the mercy of people of the area or make both ends meet by begging for alms,” said Varsha, another patient.

Mahesh, Som Nath, Varsha and Heera Bai said they tried to meet the Chief Minister during ‘sangat darshan’ here, but nobody allowed them to enter and meet him.

Bhagwan Mahavir Kusht Ashram, as the board at the entrance says, is affiliated to the National Leprosy Organisation India and is registered under registration number 471.



MC to review tenders for LED streetlights
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, January 24
After failing to get bids for the tender for installing LED streetlights in the city, the municipal corporation has now an exercise to have a look at the terms and conditions in the tender document to ensure participation in the ambitious energy saving project.

In order to cut the huge expenditure incurred on maintaining conventional streetlights the MC had decided to replace them with energy efficient LED lights all over the city. In accordance with Bureau of Energy Efficiency guidelines it floated tenders for the Rs 66 crore project about a year ago. It was proposed the contractor undertaking the work would replace the existing streetlights with LED lamps and would recover the cost due to power saving for the next ten years.

However, much to the dismay of civic officials, the tender attracted only a single bid. Since the contract could not be awarded in accordance with the rules the MC has now begun looking into the factors responsible for the poor response.

Towards this end MC officials have begun seeking opinions of various individuals and firms regarding the flaw in their tender documents. A representative of a Delhi based company gave a presentation to MC additional commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar on Thursday, during which he asserted the actual project cost was much more than that estimated by the MC. “As the actual cost of the project is Rs 200 crore, firms are saying away from the project.. To ensure participation in such a big project the MC will have to divide the city in three or four zones,” the company representative said. He also gave the option to the civic body official that even they could opt for financing from some public sector company to get the project started.

When contacted Brar confirmed the MC was trying to remove the flaws in the tender document. “However, the final decision would be taken only after hearing the views of some experts”, she added.



Trenches along road irk Barewal residents
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 24
Trenches dug along the main Barewal road for the laying of sewers have made the lives of residents miserable. To make it worse, a water line has burst due to the digging work and has inundated residential areas along the road.

The bursting of the water line and waterlogging in many localities led to a scuffle this morning between two groups of residents and work force of the contractor, to whom the work for laying the pipes has been assigned by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board on behalf of the Municipal Corporation (MC). Later, the contractor’s men fled from the site.

Avtar Singh, a resident, said the work had been continuing for the last several days and eight-ft trenches had been dug up in front of houses.

“We have been asking the contractor to fill the earth where the pipes had already been laid but nothing was done. We cannot park cars inside our houses. Some residents cannot enter their houses from the main gate. They enter through an adjoining house and then cross over the boundary wall,” he said.

Echoing similar views, other residents contended that some inconvenience was understandable but the executing agency should consider the problems being faced by residents and take remedial measures.

Darshan Singh Shivalik, SAD legislator and a resident of the locality, said the work had not been abandoned and the labourers had fled in panic after two groups of residents got involved in a scuffle after the water line burst. “These things (damage to water pipe) are routine when digging work is undertaken for laying sewers and people have to face some inconvenience when development works are carried out. The matter will, however, be taken up with the contractor.”

Manjit Singh, executive engineer (O and M) of the MC, said the project of laying sewers in the area was being executed by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board. “Our technical staff is coordinating with the contractor to carry out the necessary repairs,” he said.



From Colleges
IBM hires 40

At least 40 students were selected by the IBM during a placement drive at Government College for Women here on Monday.

A team from the IBM led by Satyesh Pati visited the college and conducted the drive. As many as 65 students of BSc, BCom, BCA and BA appeared before the team for presentation, discussion and skill tests. This was the third visit of the team to the college.

Placement cell convener Dr Mohinder Kaur Grewal, and members Prof Rajiv Sehgal, Dr Ravinder Kaur, Dr Anita Joshi and Rashmi Grover were among those present. College principal Gurminder Kaur distributed the job letters to the students and congratulated them.

MOU signed

Punjab College of Technical Education signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Gdansk University, Poland, for faculty exchange.

Harpreet K Kang, deputy dean, international affairs, PCTE Group of Institutes, visited Poland and signed the agreement with Vice-Rector Grzegorz Wegrzyn of Gdansk University.

According to a communiqué sent by the PCTE authorities, Kang stated that both institutes saw a lot of potential in the fields of management, information technology and biotechnology.


To celebrate the Voting Right Day, Arya College organised inter-class declamation and essay writing competitions on the importance voting right and contribution of the youth towards national reconstruction.

The function was presided over by college principal TL Joshi, who emphasised the importance of the voting right.

He said exercising the right strengthened the roots of democracy, while indifference towards it weakened its very structure.

Mamta Manral and Ruchi stood first and second, respectively, in the declamation contest, while Alisha and Isha Goyal came first in the essay writing competition.

Cultural fest

Cyberstar Infotech, a learning centre of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, under the distance education programme, organised its annual function “JOSH-2011” here. The function was inaugurated by chief guest Dipinder Singh Sekhon, president, All-India PTU-DEP Associates. Harinder Kanda, CEO, Quest Foundation, was the guest of honour.

Competitions in various group and solo categories like group dance, choreography, solo song, solo dance, skit and mimicry were ogranised.

The events also projected the problems arising out of illiteracy in society. A patriotic play on Kartar Singh Sarabha gave the message of valuing Independence to the youth.



From Schools
R-Day celebrations

LUDHIANA: Lord’s Divine Public School, Grewal Colony, Noorwala Road, celebrated Republic Day with patriotic fervour on the school campus in Ludhiana on Monday.

Schoolchildren rehearse for a cultural show on Monday that they are scheduled to present on the occasion of Republic Day in Ludhiana.
Schoolchildren rehearse for a cultural show on Monday that they are scheduled to present on the occasion of Republic Day in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: HImanshu Mahajan

The function was presided over by school headmistress Ritu Soni.

The celebrations started with the lightening of the ceremonial lamp, followed by Saraswati Vandana. School director Madhu Sudan Jain hoisted the National Flag amidst the singing of the National Anthem. A cultural programme based on the Indian culture and heritage was presented by students.

As many as 300 students participated in different cultural items based on song and dance dramas. The headmistress highlighted the importance of the day. The function concluded with the singing of Vande Mataram.

Parade rehearsal

A full dress rehearsal of the Republic Day parade was held on the grounds of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, on Monday. NCC cadets participated in the rehearsals, which included march past and PT drills.

The cadets had been visiting the Payal tehsil parade ground for the past few days as per the schedule set by Payal SDM Neeru Katyal. She inspected the parade and took the salute.

The administrative officer of the school was present to supervise the rehearsal.

Debate champs

Seven students of classes IX and X of Gobindgarh Public School participated in the National Convention on Students Quality Circles 2011 at TVS Lakshmi Vidya Sangam School, Madurai, from January 17 to 20.

Savreen Kaur and Subha Bansal won the first prize in the debate competition. Savreen Kaur was also adjudged the best speaker. The convention saw the participation of over 1,000 students from 84 schools. Gulshan Kaur adjudicated case study presentations at the staff level.

Guest speakers at the convention included corporate guru Swami Sukhbodhananda, young entrepreneur Suhas Gopinath, and Anand Kumar of Super 30s from Bihar. The students were led by teachers Gulshan Kaur and Deepika Sharma


An intra-class display board competition on “Costumes of India” was organised in the primary section of Guru Nanak Public School on Monday. Students of class IV participated in the competition.

The competition aimed at identifying and promoting the hidden talent of the children. The best entries were displayed on the bulletin boards across the school campus.

Headmistress Dr Harjit Kaur Dua congratulated the winners.

Results: 1. Class IV-F, 2 Class IV-B; 3 Class IV-C and consolation: Class IV-E.

Poetry recitation

A poetry recitation competition was held at Government Middle School, Dolon Khurd, under a government initiative to promote English.

The competition was held under the supervision of English master trainer Amandeep Singh, who is .

Students of classes VI, VII and VIII participated in the competition.

The best reciters were chosen for prizes. The students were adjudged on the basis of their pronunciation, tone and rhythm.

Amandeep Singh said the English project was being run by DGSE Krishan Kumar and English project ASPD Dr Ginni Duggal in government schools of Punjab for the qualitative improvement of the English subject. Under the project, activities like poem recitation, handwriting improvement, spelling, reading, etc. had been planned for every school.

The poem recitation competition was held to motivate the students to develop their interest in poetry.

Amandeep Singh and Swarnjeet Kaur distributed prizes among the winners.



Cops act tough on cars parked outside banquet hall
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, January 24
Cracking the whip on wedding guests who caused a massive traffic jam near a local banquet hall on Pakhowal road by erratically parking their cars in the middle of the street, cops towed the vehicles and levied hefty fines on their owners.

The tough action by the traffic police drew angry protests from those attending the wedding function. There were heated arguments with the cops when they began issuing parking fines.

The incident took place at about 10 pm when guests who arrived at the Rivera resort haphazardly parked their vehicles in the middle of the road, causing chaos on the busy stretch. In no time traffic cops arrived on the scene in their vehicles and began handing over parking fines.

The trouble began when the police towed a Tata Indica car that was parked on the roadside. In the meantime the vehicle’s owner came out of the banquet hall and engaged in a heated argument with the cops.

However, the situation was prevented from turning ugly after other wedding guests intervened and resolved the issue. Those who had come to attend the function for a short while soon left the area.

The police action came in the wake of repeated complaints by residents of the Pakhowal locality, who were miffed over the choking of the road due to haphazard outside wedding banquet halls.

The drive by the traffic police came close on the heels of its crackdown on wedding processions, a major cause of traffic chaos in the city.

The local police is said to have recently penalized a of wedding band organizer for obstructing traffic. However he was let off after he gave a written undertaking to the cops stating he would never let his band perform on the streets.

The traffic police now plans to conduct a similar drive outside shopping malls and banquet halls located on the busy Ferozepore Road.

However, while the cops have acted tough against those causing traffic jams by haphazardly parking their vehicles on streets, no action has been taken against owners of wedding banquet halls for allowing the vehicles to be parked outside the venue. Sources in the municipal corporation said many of the halls in the city were built in complete violation of building bylaws.



PAU staff on glass-breaking spree
Exercise part of beautification drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Employees of the cash-strapped Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) went on a glass-breaking spree, as they smashed windowpanes of the underground parking near the campus library here today.

The drive to break the windowpanes in the morning drew sharp criticism from students of agriculture sciences, who have been protesting against the government for not filling 800 posts of agriculture development officer and horticulture development lying vacant in the state.

The glass-shattering exercise was part of a beautification drive, under which the old glasses will be replaced with new ones. New signboards will also be installed in place of the old ones.

Taking a dig at the PAU authorities, a student said: “Had we pelted any office with stones and broken the windowpanes, we would have been held accountable for defacing the government property. The employees are doing the same thing in the garb of a beautification exercise.”

The exercise caught the attention of visitors sipping a cup of tea at the campus canteen. For a while, they apprehended that the students’ protest had taken an ugly turn.

“On the one hand the PAU authorities are claiming that they are facing a fund crunch, while on the other they are heartlessly smashing windowpanes installed at the underground parking,” said a visitor.

Estate Officer Gurkirpal Singh said: “The employees broke only those glasses that needed to be changed. Those in fine condition had been left untouched.”

However, contrary to Gurkirpal Singh’s claim, all glasses installed at the basement parking were broken.



Honour for BCM Aryans

Ludhiana, January 24
Students of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, have got the rare opportunity to perform at the Wagah border this Republic Day.

It is the only school which has been allowed to perform on this day and has been given 30 minutes for the performance.

The students have got special permission from the IG, Border Security Force, to perform at the Wagah border.

They will perform during Republic Day celebrations, before the retreat ceremony, in front of an audience of about 20,000. Nearly 100 students will perform various items, including choreographed items, bhangra and songs based on patriotic themes.

One hundred students and teachers from the school are accompanying the group to witness the ceremony.

After the show, the students will get the chance to view the beating of the retreat ceremony, which is a special attraction for everyone.

“It is a rare honour for all of us. Preparations are on in full swing. Our students are excited about the visit,” said Paramjit Kaur, principal of the school. — TNS



Slanderous SMS
Aggrieved by police inaction, doctors to move HC
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Expressing discontent over the role played by the police in “exposing” the persons behind the circulation of a defamatory SMS against a group of city doctors, Dr Hardeep Singh, Dr Satish Nauhria, Dr Satish Ohri and Dr SC Garg have decided to file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh.

Dr Hardeep Singh and his associates had contested the elections to the district IMA but on the day of the poll (December 19) a message containing “vulgar remarks” against the candidates was circulated in the medical fraternity.

Dr Hardeep Singh and his associates gave a complaint in writing to Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh on December 20, following which the case was handed over to ADCP Kuldip Singh.

“The Commissioner of Police had promised us that the guilty would be brought to book within 24 hours. However, despite our repeated reminders, the investigating officer has failed to redress our grievance,” Dr Hardeep Singh said.

However, ADCP Kuldip Singh said the messages were sent from a Reliance phone number and the company had refused to give them the SMS details, stating that the particular SMS was not there in the itemised billing.

“We are negotiating with the company and hopeful of getting their cooperation,” the ADCP added.

Disagreeing with the ADCP, the doctors said the police department was either lax in its approach on the matter or was under the “influence” of those who played a dirty prank on them in the garb of the SMS.

Hard to digest 

It is mandatory for any mobile company to furnish information sought by the police on the basis of the FIR registered. The SMS was circulated from mobile number 8591559664 but the police department has not been able to trace the owner of the SIM even after one month of the incident.

Expedite probe: Opposite group

The group of doctors accused of circulating the slanderous SMS was questioned by the investigating officer. The group led by Dr Arun Mitra denied the allegations and instead asked the official to expedite the investigation so that the guilty were brought to book.



Ekta Yatra
BJP’s gimmick to ‘foment communal tension’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched the “Ekta Yatra” to hoist the National Flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar not out of its sense of patriotism but to “foment communal tension and create saffron terrorism”.

Alleging this in a statement here today, Akali Dal (Delhi) youth wing state president Gurdeep Singh Gosha and beopar wing chief Balwinder Singh Bhullar said the BJP was out to scuttle the peace process initiated by the Centre in Kashmir under the garb of its so-called yatra.

“The radical elements in the BJP are adamant on unfurling the Tricolour at Lal Chowk to disturb peace in the Valley and provoke Muslim “jehadis”, which will provide an opportunity to saffron terrorists to retaliate and cause disruption all over the country.”

The Akali leaders maintained that the involvement of RSS activists in acts of terrorism in different parts of the country was no longer a secret and the intelligence agencies had already exposed the involvement of saffron elements behind blasts in Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif, Mecca Masjid and the Samjhauta Express.

“The confession made by one of the accused RSS activists, Swami Aseemanand, has brought in the open the evil designs of the saffron outfits.”

Chiding the BJP for attributing acts of terror to radical Sikh and Muslim youth, Gosha and Bhullar asked the reason for the silence of the party and its parent body, the RSS, over their own hands in such acts.



20-yr-old electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 24
A youth of nearby Kalewal village was electrocuted at his house last night. According to sources, Gurnam Singh (20) suffered an electric shock while trying to connect a CD system. He died on the spot. His wife was in the kitchen while the other members of his family were away when the mishap took place. The victim had got married just two months ago.

On the statement of victim’s sister Kiran Kaur, no case was registered in this regard. His body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination.



102 units of blood donated

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 24
Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes organised a blood donation camp to commemorate the 113th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose here today. A human organ donation awareness camp was also held.

Members of the staff and students donated 102 units of blood. The camp was inaugurated by director general Prof Shalini Gupta. In her address, she said donating blood meant saving precious lives and students should take part in such camps with full zeal. She added that the institute organised such camps on a regular basis.

She also encouraged the students and the faculty to popularise eye and organ donation among the masses.

The camp was organised with the assistance of the Rotary International Foundation and the Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Chandigarh. The students showed keen interest in the human organ donation awareness drive.

The blood collection team distributed certificates, refreshment and badges to the donors. — OC



Rickshaw-puller flees with Rs 1.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 24
A village resident lost ` 1.5 lakh to a rickshaw-puller, after the latter made good with the money the victim had left with him here yesterday. The victim had come to the town to shop for his son’s marriage, which was scheduled for next week.

According to sources, the victim Santokh Singh, of Dholan village had come to the town along with his wife for shopping.

In his complaint to the police, Santokh Singh alleged that he had withdrawn ` 1.5 lakh from a bank located on the Lajpat Road. From there, they hired a rickshaw to visit a printing press on the Raikot Road to collect the invitation cards.

“We went inside the press, asking the rickshaw-puller to wait for us outside, as we had to visit some other places too. We left the bag containing the money behind. However, when we came out of the printing press just a few minutes later, the rickshaw-pullers was nowhere to be seen,” claimed Santokh Singh in the complaint.

The victim and the owner of the printing press inquired about the rickshaw-puller in the nearby areas but to no avail.

Later, the victim approached the police and lodged a complaint.

SHO Jagraon city police station Inderjit Singh said the police had received a complaint and started the investigation.



Two youths snatch purse, victim injured
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 24
A Haryana-based family fell prey to snatchers here yesterday after two motorcycle-borne youths escaped with a purse on the Tehsil Road here last night. The victims had come to the town to meet a relative.

The victim, Palvi, received some injuries in the incident. She is undergoing treatment at a local private hospital.

The place where the incident took place is only a stone’s throw from the office of the SSP Ludhiana (rural).

According to sources, three members of a family hailing from Haryana had come to the town yesterday to meet their relative.

In a complaint to the police, Palvi said they had hired a rickshaw from the bus station for their aunt’s home. As soon as they reached near the Hira Bagh locality, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched the purse from her and sped away.

In the process, Palvi fell off the rickshaw and received injuries. She was taken to a private hospital by her brother and some shopkeepers.

According to Palvi, her purse contained Rs 1,500 and some valuables.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case against unidentified persons and started the investigation.



2 arrested for car theft
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 24
The Ludhiana (rural) police arrested two members of a gang of car thieves near here last evening. The accused were stated to be from well-off families and belonged to the Bhinda gang, the police claimed.

The accused have been identified as Daljinder Singh, alias Prince, of Nangal village, near Barnala, and Gurmukh Singh, alias Jandu, of Fatehgarh Panjgraian.

The police has also recovered a Hyundai i10 car from their possession. The car had been stolen from the Dabwali-Sirsa road two days ago.

According to CIA staff in-charge Tehal Singh, the accused were arrested near Bassian village while travelling in the stolen car bearing a fake registration number.

The police claimed that the accused belonged to a gang involved in numerous cases of car theft in the past.

Tehal Singh added that the police had got leads on some members of the gang and they were trying to arrest them.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered at the Raikot police station in this regard.

The accused were today produced in a local court, which remanded them in police custody.



Man killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 24
A middle-aged man was killed in a road accident near Sidhwan Kalan village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway last night. The victim has been identified as Jagtar Singh, alias Tari, of Sidhwan Kalan village. According to sources, Jagtar Singh was walking on the highway when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle. 

The victim died on the spot. The driver of the vehicle sped away after the accident. The police has registered a case against an unidentified person in this regard and started the investigation. The police handed over the body of the victim to his relatives after conducting a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital.



Players shortlisted for sports wings

Ludhiana, January 24
Around 1,800 boys and girls attended the four-day trials conducted by the Sports Department, Punjab, to shortlist players for its wings and speed fund academy. These trials were organised in different age categories in basketball, football, wrestling and cycling.

There was an overwhelming response to football as over 1,100 boys and 16 girls turned up for the trials. Wrestling saw the participation of 350 aspirants in the boys and 50 in the girls sections. As many 255 boys and 57 girls registered for basketball, while 37 boys and 17 girls attended the trials in cycling. District Sports Officer (DSO), Ludhiana, Sat Pal Singh said the selection panels headed by Arjuna awardee Sajjan Singh Cheema (basketball), Arjuna awardee Inder Singh (football), Sukhchain Singh Cheema (wrestling) and former international cyclist Amrit Kaur Gill assessed the aspirants and shortlisted the players for recommendation to the sports department headquarters. “The panels selected 76 boys and 48 girls (basketball), 26 boys and 10 girls (cycling), 342 boys and 66 girls (wrestling), 553 boys and 12 girls (football) and forwarded their names to director, sports, Punjab, Pargat Singh,” said DSO. Besides, four boys and one girl (cycling) were picked up for the speed fund academy. The sports directorate will further prune the list for admitting the players to the sports wings being run at various places, he added. — OC



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